Dubai-based pay-TV operator OSN has issued a strong criticism of certain Indian broadcasters who are active in the Gulf states selling illegal or grey market boxes to expats.
Specifically, OSN says they are suffering revenue losses as Gulf residents buy subscriptions to Indian transmissions, in particular for sport which OSN has also contracted to carry.
All of the Gulf states are under the footprint of Indian transmissions from the likes of Dish TV, Airtel Digital TV, Videocon d2h and Sun Direct.
However, none of these broadcasters are licensed to broadcast into the Gulf, nor do they have programme rights to the MENA region. The challenge for OSN is the clear price differential. Most of the Indian channel bouquets are available locally in Dubai for about 24 Dirhams a month (about $6), while OSN’s monthly fee is nearer 200 Dirhams (about $54).
OSN claims that Dish TV, for example, could terminate Gulf-based subscribers in moments if it wished.